Rental hell and hope for the future...

Discussion in 'Santa Cruz, CA' started by DarkLordSid, Feb 8, 2006.

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  1. DarkLordSid Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2004
    star 4
    Okay, so I've been keeping quiet on something because it hit us pretty hard, but this might be the time to clue you all in.

    Back in October we received the jarring news that the house we are renting changed hands. Now we do have a lease until August 2006, but the new owner had been putting us through contractor hell until we finally waved a lawyer at him and told him to knock it down a dozen notches.

    It was incredibly stressful and has cast a large shadow on our lives, even put Mrs Sid in the hospital for a bit. We hate moving and this would be the THIRD time we've had to move because a house sold out from under us. It's never easy with cats trying to find a rental, and having to move at another's whim is expensive, time consuming, disruptive, and traumatic.

    No more.

    We're marshalling our resources and seeing what we can do about becoming homeowners, this rental game stops with this move, we're sick of giving all our income to someone else's investment and the tax man.

    Buying the place we are in is not an option apparently. The new owner, a greedy local contractor who got the place cheap (at the tune of $200K in an "as is" purchase) has declined to renew our lease. No doubt he thinks he can get higher rent from someone else who doesn't know the history of the place.

    His original goal was to completely renovate it then sell it. When we asked about buying it ourselves "as is" with what he has done, he suddenly changed his mind and said, "I'm going to rent this place after I get done renovating it".

    So he does not want to rent to us, probably because we found out our rights as renters and probably could sue his butt for what he did, and we'd laugh at him for what he'd ask. He does not want to sell to us, because we know all too well the condition of the place and not give him the price he wants, and again laugh at his face for asking.

    He also probably wants us long gone when he starts to show it so we don't tell the prospective buyers about the cosmetic fixes he made which cover up more significant problems. He's offered to "let us out of the lease" so we will be out of the way and he can trash the place to his heart's desire.


    Did I mention we hate contractors?


    You can start to see why we're stressed, and I only told the leading edge of all that we've been through.

    Did I mention he replaced the roof too? And he used "day labor" who were constantly on the property looking at our stuff, and he didn't even know their names.

    Talk about intrusive.

    Okay, back to the other stuff: What we are looking for now is any leads, advice, etc. on financing, real estate, etc. We have decided that "country living" with it's downed trees, blocked roads, mudslides, power outages, and 1 hour each way commute is wearing pretty thin. So we're looking in the Santa Clara Valley too. Santa Cruz is an option if we can find a place that suits our needs, although that does not solve the commute problem, it might be cheaper to get into. Or not.

    We are currently looking at "Manufactured Homes", or in old terminology, "Mobile Homes". But the new ones are mobile only until the get to the site, then out come the axles and they put them up permanently. They have real walls, run to 1400 sq feet, and are very, very nice, and best yet, affordable. Problem is they still have to sit SOMEWHERE, typically on rental property, so we'd still pay space rent. But it's a start, we can put our money in our pocket instead of others, and no one can tell us in a year to move out as long as we make the payments.

    SO any leads that might help will be appreciated. Networking and word of mouth is where the best deals and best information come from, so we're tapping into the web for help. If you have any suggestions, connections, contacts, whatever, send them our way.

    We have time, we're still good until August and have basically told the current owner that he can do outside work to a limited degree (he had intended to rip out the bathroom and kitchen while we were still living there). But the so
  2. Master--Kenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2003
    star 4
    Well, the best first advice I can give is get pre-qualified. If you are with a Credit Union, that is one of the best ways to go. Lending Tree is also good. (Lendingtree.com) Once you get pre-qualified, then they give you a lovely little letter stating how much you are guaranteed. This will give you first priority on property that you want within your pre-approved budget. You just had a copy of the letter over and it makes life so incredibly simple when you find the place you want. There is no trying to qualify at the last minute or get in a bidding war.

    I completely understand getting things packed up and moved. Right now trying to get Mom's house cleared out (was rough immediately getting all the valuables out after her passing..but needed to for security reasons). So, every spare moment, getting that closed out, but we do have a buyer already (friend of the family who he and his wife have always loved the place..so that helps). Plus selling the business and going through the books for the past year, making sure the government gets all its information on what it needs.

    Take Care, take a deep breath, hang in there.. and we understand.. Santa Cruz will always be Santa Cruz.. no magtter where we all live!

    Peace Out!

    Kim


    P.S. Can't help but still want to see you stay in Santa Cruz :)itself...it's been my other home for way way too many years.
  3. DarkLordSid Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2004
    star 4
    Thanks for the info, we're already working on getting pre qual'd.

    As far as staying in Santa Cruz county, if you want to co-sign... juuuuust kidding, heh. Hey, we'll still be in the Bay Area and still within easy reach of the Cruz. We'll plan on camping a lot more again up in the hills, as well as some day trips.

    Besides, the deer taking out my truck was not fun, rather not have that happen again. And who knows, if a killer deal pops up in the county... ::shrugs:: we're always open to "possibilities" as they say.
  4. DarkLordSid Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2004
    star 4
    1. BTW, deer took out the truck in 2004, not recent news.

    2. Although this was a tough situation, it got us moving into a better place years ahead of what we anticipated.

    So again change is both crisis and opportunity, we had the first and are now seeing the second and jumping on it.

    So in the end, it's all good.

    :)

    Just a lot of work between this and that. We'll still do cons, fer sure dudes, so don't worry about that.

  5. DarkLordSid Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2004
    star 4
    P.S. Don't need to be said probably, but send info by PM.
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